engraving of william allen. a young man with combed-back hair, a white collar, tie, and jacket.

William H. Allen in 1889

Born: 1862, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Died: April 3, 1935, Hartford, Connecticut, United States

Nationality: American

Family: Allen

Glassworking relatives:

Active: [at least 1876-1930s]

Associated acts:

Brief biography

William H. Allen was born to William M. Allen and Nora Allen (née Swayne) in 1862, possibly in Baltimore, Maryland. He joined his parents in their glassworking demonstrations, and later became a member of his mother’s troupe. While traveling with this troupe he was advertised variously as a “glass blower and designer,” a “scientific glass blower,” and the troupe’s primary maker of hollow ware.

Allen married Adalorra Tobrocke on May 31, 1884, in Hamilton County, Ohio. They had several children together, none of whom appear to have worked in the glass business. Surviving children included Gracie A. Allen, Edna May Smith (née Allen), and William H. Allen, Jr. Later in life, Allen left the itinerant lifestyle behind, settling in Hartford, Connecticut with his family. There, for the last 25 years of his life, he worked various jobs, including making glass for a glass shop and for an X-ray company, and grinding ball bearings. He died in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 3, 1935 and is buried in Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

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